Adrenergic receptors mediate some of the physiological and possibly behavioral effects of cocaine. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of treatment with a peripherally acting adrenergic blocking drug labetalol on the cardiovascular and subjective response to repeated deliveries of smoked cocaine. In this double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover study, 12 cocaine users were treated with a single 100 or 200 mg dose of labetalol, or placebo in each of three experimental sessions. Starting 2 h after the medication treatment, subjects received three doses of 0.4 mg/kg smoked cocaine, 30 min apart. Labetalol treatment significantly attenuated the cocaine-induced increases in heart rate and systolic blood pressure. This effect of labetalol on the cardiovascular response did not decrease with repeated cocaine deliveries. The subjective response to smoked cocaine deliveries was not affected by labetalol treatment. These results suggest that labetalol effectively attenueates the systolic blood pressure and heart rate increases induced by repeated doses of smoked cocaine, but does not alter subjective effects. (C) 2000 Elsevier Science Inc.
- Adrenergic receptors
- Crack cocaine